Preface: Greetings, all! This is the eighth chapter of the tale that began with “Wisdom in Shadow – Chapter 1,” comes immediately after “Wisdom in Shadow, Chapter 7,”and is the third story is a series that began with “What You Don’t Know,” also located on this site, although it features a mostly-different cast of characters.
As always, my standard disclaimer: The monster girls featured in this tale, and many elements of the setting, are based off of the works of Kenkou Cross, and as such this work is intended to be a tribute to his creativity. The characters, however, are my own. Pray neither sue nor steal; I have very little to take, but I love that which is mine.
Wisdom in Shadow
Chapter 8 – Communion
The boy in the black cloak found himself in a small room, an office coated in dust. He was alone, and the silence surrounding him was comforting. As he moved, dust stirred with his every move, proof that this chamber had not been disturbed in ages.
He glanced around, looking at the bookshelves, the small desk covered in papers, a closet hanging open, revealing priestly robes within. As he moved about the room, there was a sense of hominess about the chamber, though it was small enough to make anyone feel claustrophobic. Still, he sat in the chair and relaxed, and felt at peace, despite the ache of déjà vu that made him feel lost in an unfamiliar world.
He barely noticed the door swinging open. When he looked at it, he saw it had opened into another room, a spartan office with a table faced by two chairs. The door beyond that table was closed, yet somehow he knew there was a stairwell behind it, leading somewhere familiar. He felt compelled to go in that direction, yet he stayed, rooted in his seat.
Someone unseen was waiting beyond the door. He could sense the presence, larger than imagining, watching him closely as if waiting to see something wondrous. He did not acknowledge it, but he could see the dark clouds gathering at the edges of the doorframe, waiting for him to emerge, and so he kept his place, savoring the peace.
“Who are you?” The boy did not respond, looking around the room. “Are you… do you remember, now?” For the first time, that powerful voice seemed unsure, hesitant. “Please, come to me, Paul. You were always my favorite. Come, and see the new world I have made for you.”
He did not move. He felt the danger in her words, even though he knew she believed them. He instead sat, and waited, knowing this too would pass. He could sense her agitation, her frustration, and her voice did not hide the anger she felt.
“Then I will have you brought to me.”
And she was gone, but he knew that she would always be watching him.
When Gina opened her eyes, she knew something was wrong. She was not in her usual place beside Simon; his warmth was nowhere to be found. She was not in their bed, but she could still smell the room, and his scent, but something else cold and dark. It took a moment for her eyes to adjust to the darkness, and she fought to move her arms, finding them bound to her sides.
She looked down, and saw the black chain wrapped around her, holding her aloft. Panic spiked within her, and she struggled against those links, flexing and thrashing, her teeth bared in a deep growl. She looked desperately around the room, finding Simon laying on the floor, ringed by a strange shape that reeked of corrupted mana. She didn’t know what the shape meant, but it reminded her of the rune that had been placed on his back, and she knew that was not good at all.
“Ah ah, little pup. You stay right there this time.” The voice was cold and mocking, and Gina growled at the dark shape coalescing between her and Simon. It took the form of a pale-skinned woman in ebon armor, silver hair spilling over her shoulders below her armored diadem, which was decorated with black feathers like those on the dark wings spreading from her back. The woman’s violet eyes narrowed in a haughty smirk as she waved a finger at Gina triumphantly. “I’ve had just enough of your interruptions.”
Gina glanced past the woman to see the runes around Simon flaring to greater life. She could feel the power centered on that shape, and knew it was building towards its effect. Gina’s growls suddenly filled the room as she threw herself at the chains binding her. Desperately, she called on all the power she could muster, and the chains binding her creaked, beginning to strain and stretch, but stubbornly resisting.
“Theriomancy? Impressive. You’re not the simple mutt you act like.” The other woman smirked at Gina, shrugging without concern, and soon enough Gina paused, panting. “But beast magic is no match for the will of a goddess. He belonged to Her long before you met him. Just accept that, and perhaps, after he is safely in his rightful place, I will find a way to help you escape this town.”
Escape. Gina’s head hung as she stopped struggling, and she thought of her adoptive sister. She had dreamed of meeting back up with Lyra ever since the day they had parted, but now she could only hope her sister would be okay. Escape would be impossible, after what she would have to do to save the man she loved; she knew that, and she accepted it without hesitation. Gina’s head raised, and she looked to see the circle around Simon glowing intensely as he seemed to sink lower, falling slowly into the floor. There was no more time.
Gina’s head fell back as she began to howl, a piercing, mournful cry. Her call was long and powerful, ringing outside the room, beyond the window that had opened in the night, into the town. Across Videre, slumbering townsfolk stirred from their sleep, instinctively frightened by the sound. Heads turned towards the inn, and inside several people rose from their beds to investigate.
“You stupid bitch.” The pale-skinned woman took a threatening step forward, her face distorted by rage. “You know what they will do to you now.” Gina smiled unconcernedly back at her, shrugging as the sounds of feet pounded up the stairs outside. The woman glanced back to the runic circle, realizing she did not have enough time for the magic to complete, and snarled back at the kobold, “This doesn’t end tonight.” Without a word more, she dissolved into clouds of shadow, but could not escape before the door to the room burst open.
Mary Kramer and her father gaped in shock at the mass of shadow as it fled out the open window, soaring into the night. Grasping for his wits, Charles immediately turned out of the room, rushing to reassure the wakened patrons that all was well, that the sound was merely a dog a guest had smuggled into his room, his broad-shouldered body blocking the entrance to the room. Mary rushed towards Gina as the kobold slumped against the wall, the black chain dissipating. Before Mary could reach her, however, Gina scrambled to Simon’s side, noting with immense relief that the arcane circle had faded to a blackened mark on the floor, and Simon showed no signs of harm, blinking wearily up at her as she desperately licked at his cheek. “G-Gina? What’s happening? Why am I on the floor?” He looked up through squinted eyes to discover Mary staring red-cheeked down at him, and he desperately reached down to straighten his mussed nightshirt, recovering his modesty entirely too late.
Simon was sitting up, rubbing at his aching temples, when Charles Kramer came into the room, shutting the door firmly behind him. The other patrons of the inn had apparently accepted his explanations, their drowsiness overcoming their curiosity, for now at least. Rounding the corner, the hulking innkeep blushed as he noticed Gina was naked, and with a frustrated thought she willed her fur to emerge, covering her once more as she focused on Simon. “What was that about?” the innkeeper asked, frowning at the mark on his floor.
“You tell me. I was asleep, solidly, when all over a sudden I hear Gina howling and I wake up to see… what was that?” Simon’s eyes blinked rapidly as he fought to clear his head. Likely, the woman that had attacked him had used sleeping magic to keep him still while she prepared her other spell, and now he was having trouble shaking it off.
Mary and Charles looked to Gina, and she shook her head, but pointed towards the monastery on the mountain. She had recognized the smell of the magic, and she had every reason to believe it came from there. The two standing humans shared a concerned glance as Simon woozily tried to climb to his feet. “Well, that’s just one more thing to worry about,” Simon groused, staggering to the nightstand to retrieve his glasses and light a candle, Gina hovering close to his side. She would not leave him unprotected until she knew a way to ward off the woman that had tried to take him from her.
“It’s not much been a good night, for certain,” Charles murmured, but he shook his head before he would elaborate. “If the lass says that thing came from the monastery, though, then I’d bet it’s connected to those missing pilgrims you and the priest have been asking about.”
Simon nodded slowly, still fighting to stir his brain from its spell-induced haze. “Probably a good thing I didn’t go to the monastery alone today, then. I wonder if the Lector’s visit to the chapel stirred… whatever that was, to action.” He glanced to the side when Gina growled, shaking her head, pointing a claw directly at him. “You think it’s after me, specifically?” She nodded, and he sighed, his shoulders slumping. “Great.”
“I know that you did it to bring us up here, Gina, and to scare it off, but people are going to talk about the howling. That Lector and George are going to hear rumors, and you know they will come looking for you,” Mary warned, reaching out a consoling hand to Gina as the kobold shrugged in resignation.
“Yeah, well, hopefully we won’t have to worry about that for much longer.” Simon’s brave face couldn’t hide the regret in his voice. “This is the fifth night that Gina has been with me, and the Lector is still out of town. We just have to keep them off her trail for what, two, three more days, before the caravan arrives?”
Charles responded with a deep sigh. “About that, lad.” He looked sympathetically from Simon to Gina, shaking his head slightly. “I was waiting till I heard more in the morning, but the rumors going around aren’t good. Seems there’s some sort of trouble out east; some kind of new war against the monsters, or something like that.” Simon’s face paled, and Gina could tell he had probably heard something about that as well. “There’s a lot of worry that the Orders will be watching the roads more, since they’ll be sending more forces that way. There’s a chance that the caravan that comes through here may swing north toward Avalon instead, and that’s not much better for her.”
Simon didn’t reply for a long moment, his face paling as he sat bonelessly onto his bed, staring at nothing as he shook his head. Gina rushed to his side, wrapping her arm around him, and he didn’t even respond to that for a long minute, finally reaching up to squeeze her paw.
“We’ll think of something, right, Pa? There’ll be another caravan, or…” Mary shot a pleading glance to her father, but the large man only shook his head, concern printed boldly on his face.
“Even if we can smuggle her to one of the forests that the Orders don’t hunt, then Gina will be living like… an animal. The only monster-friendly towns are those far to the east, near or past the Great Veil, beyond the Hellenistic Empire’s grasp.” Simon’s eyes were unfocused, flicking side to side as he weighed and discarded options. “I’m sure that’s where Lyra was sent, too.” Gina failed to swallow a whimper, and Simon stroked her paw, reassuring her. “But, that just leaves finding a way to get her there, without raising the Lector’s suspicions, which is… not easy.” Silence followed his words, the four people in the room lost in their own thoughts and fears.
“Listen, I’ll ask around tomorrow, as quiet as I can. Maybe I’m wrong; maybe the caravan will just take one of the southern routes instead.” Charles offered Gina and Simon a big, fragile smile, hoping to raise their spirits. “Morning will be here soon enough, and maybe things will be looking up when it arrives.”
“Sure.” Simon offered the reply with a counterfeit smile of his own, though Gina could still smell fear from him. “Thanks for all your help, both of you. I doubt our surprise guest will be back tonight, but I’ll bar the window just in case. We’ll figure everything else out tomorrow.” He stood from the bed, nodding to the innkeep and his daughter.
“Right. Rest well, both of you.” Charles glanced to his daughter, but Mary rushed forward, wrapping first Gina in a tight hug, then Simon. Gina’s eyebrow raised at how long the latter embrace lasted, glancing at Simon’s brief attire. Charles, however, pointedly looked away.
“Be brave, and we’ll work everything out,” Mary promised, and Gina and Simon agreed with grateful smiles. She stared at them both a moment longer before nodding and following her father out of the room. The door closed behind them, and the inn was quiet enough that Gina could hear their footsteps descend into the common room.
Simon moved to tend to the window, his brow still furrowed, while Gina stood, moving over to inspect the runic circle still burnt into the floor. She sniffed at it again, the cloying scent of its fading magic still repelling her. Still, the shape itself reminded her of something she had seen before, when she had gone into the tunnels and the big cave with Lyra, back when they had parted. Something about that nagged at her, and she frowned down at the circle, tapping its edge with a claw, until she realized Simon was staring at her with a thoughtful look of his own. “Teleportation magic,” he mumbled, and she looked at him and nodded. That woman had been trying to send him somewhere far away from Gina, and that couldn’t happen.
Simon was silent for a long while after that, rubbing his chin in thought as he leaned against a wall. Finally, Gina stretched, yawning, and walked to the bed. With a thought, she used her mana to remove the fur on her torso – Simon liked that, she knew – and crawled back into the bed. She lifted the sheets and barked quietly, summoning him to bed.
He glanced at her in surprise, then nodded. He crossed the room to the bed, removing his glasses and extinguishing the candle once more. As he settled under the blankets, Gina pressed against him possessively, trying to cover the lingering scent of the bad magic with the smell of her body. Simon snuggled into her, his arm sliding down to support her head, and she nuzzled his shoulder gratefully. Soon enough, they both lay still in the silence, their hearts beating close to each other, mutual warmth soothing tense muscles, as their embrace offered a bit of respite from the encroaching dangers of the world.
It did not, however, offer an easy return to sleep.
Simon sighed into the darkness, his mind still whirling. It had been at least an hour since he had returned to bed after the attack, and still he couldn’t lull his mind to slumber. It wasn’t fear of another attack that kept his eyes open; he felt fairly certain that dark assailant wouldn’t be back so soon after it had been warded off by Gina’s howling. It would know he was aware of it now, and that meant that it wouldn’t attack the same way twice.
No, his concern was focused on the kobold that lay cuddled up to him. She had saved him with her howling, but now he had to think of a way to protect her in turn. What Mr. Kramer had said only made matters worse, especially since it dovetailed with George’s words earlier in the day about the Orders marching on the town out east, Goslar or whatever it was called. Hopefully Mr. Kramer would be right, and the caravan would find another way to take Gina to the east. If not, Simon would have to get creative, and his overtaxed mind wasn’t offering him much help in that regard. He had considered every direction, every route leading from Videre, but all of them lead towards areas that the Orders patrolled. This far west, monsters had gradually been hunted until they had moved away from civilization, except at the coastline, where the sea provided a natural sanctum for monsterkind. It was no place for a kobold, however. The desert lands to the south, across the sea, were outside the empire’s boundaries, but reaching them was no easy task. No, the only sure way was to the east, towards the Great Veil and the monster territories beyond.
Gina sighed into his shoulder, squirming against him, and he stroked her back with his hand, smiling down at her. “You can’t sleep either, huh?” She looked up at him for a moment before shaking her head. “Sorry,” he apologized lamely, and she squeezed his chest with her arm. Staring back at the ceiling, Simon shook his head. Not only did he have to find a way to save Gina, but he also had to do it while not getting kidnapped himself. This drew a wry smile to his lips, and he glanced back down to Gina. “You wouldn’t know any way to ward monsters off from me until we get you to safety, would you?” He blinked down at her in the darkness as he felt her start, and the dim light from the window was just enough for him to see the gleam of her eyes as she looked up at him in thought. “Yeah, I didn’t think so,” he chuckled, not noticing the intensity of her gaze.
Safety. That was the goal. He just needed to get her out of Videre, but the means of transportation was the issue. He knew that Lyra had managed it somehow, thanks to the ‘Watcher in the Shadows’ from Father Wulfe’s hidden note, but if that were still an option Gina would have led him in that direction already. A nagging thought pricked at his brain, and he thought of Gina kneeling beside the arcane circle that had nearly claimed him. It was a rune of teleportation, he was sure, but reproducing it would only send Gina to wherever he had nearly been taken, and that wasn’t a safe option, even if he could. Still, that made him remember something else: a book. Thesis on Teleportation. He had seen it before, in the abbot’s office, amid the books that the prioress had brought for the Lector to look at. She had said that it came from the archives, but that really meant the forbidden library in the catacombs – and her showing it to him had to be a trap, he knew. Still, if Gina was right and the person that had attacked him had come from the monastery, then that was all the more proof that they knew ways of magical transportation, and if he had that knowledge, then perhaps he could send Gina somewhere himself. He had a talent for learning spells; perhaps he could handle something that wasn’t the holy magic he was accustomed to. That just meant making a trip to the forbidden library, however…
He paused, suddenly aware of the change in Gina’s breathing. He glanced down at her, concerned, and found her looking up at him with a nervous smile. She began rubbing against him, grinding her body against his, as her paw stroked his chest. He blinked at this sudden change in her behavior, but she was committed, leaning in closer to his face, her lips parted slightly. Their kiss was needier than Simon had expected, the anxiety that had been eating at him chased away by her heat as her tongue surged against his. His eyes opened wider as he felt her move, sliding atop him to straddle his hips, but she didn’t end their kissing, only increasing the pace and passion. He thought about interrupting her, asking her what had brought this on, why she had chosen now, and whether she was certain or not, considering everything that might happen. As usual, he thought too much, and knowing that, he relaxed, letting her certainty lead the way.
Still, when she paused, he looked to her for confirmation. She met his gaze as she straightened and reached down with her paws, grasping his wrists as she brought his hands up before her, his palms facing her breasts, yet not quite touching them. She left his hands there, her eyes never leaving his, and he laughed despite himself. For all his worrying, she was letting him making the decision. He could stop, or he could take the next step, and there wouldn’t be any stopping after that.
Gina moaned in unabashed pleasure as his hands descended, massaging her breasts once more, his fingers quickly finding the hardened nubs and gently twisting them, which made her hips unconsciously shift atop him, drawing an appreciative grunt from him. She rocked atop his nightshirt-covered shaft as he caressed her chest, his eyes wide with wonder at how soft her breasts felt as he lifted them, his thumbs circling her areola. She looked down at him with a smile that he lacked words to describe, love and excitement and need and joy and hope all mixed into a grin he would never forget, and she leaned in once more to kiss him, her paws keeping his hands on her chest. Still he slid one hand free to wrap it around her back, hugging her against him until their faces were next to each other, his lips close to her fluffy ear. “I love you, Gina.”
“I love you, Simon.”
Simon froze, his eyes wide as Gina straightened, smiling down at him. He stared at her with questions in his gaze, and she didn’t reply, merely biting her lip as she resumed rocking atop him, sliding her lower lips against his rigid member. He couldn’t be certain he had heard her voice, or if he had just imagined it, but the look in her eyes told him the words had been true, fantasy or not.
She looked pointedly down at his free hand, and he came back to his senses with a sheepish smile, returning to his attentions on her chest. She threw her shoulders back as she rode him, letting his fingers explore every inch of her breasts, her eyes drinking in his expression as she rose and fell against him again and again, her breath echoing out of time with his, but no less raggedly. Finally, she reached up to take his wrists once more, and he barely had a chance to look disappointed as she led his hands away before he noticed her shimmying back towards the foot of the bed, her hips swaying seductively. She glanced down at his nightshirt, and one soft paw slid up the outer extent of his leg as she looked to him with an unspoken question. Swallowing, Simon nodded, reaching down to seize the bottom of his nightshirt. A moment later and the cloth drifted to the floor in a half-ball, as Gina stared hungrily down at the body he had just offered to her. Her eyes stayed frozen to his shaft for a long moment, but she leaned in close to his upper body, kissing against him, greedily inhaling his scent as her lips traced the faint muscles of his chest.
Her sniffing grew louder as her kisses wandered southward, and her eyes rolled back as her nostrils flared, finding the source of the masculine scent that had taunted her for days. Simon watched her with an embarrassed grin, but his own expression melted into ecstasy as she extended her tongue and ran it up the length of his lower self. That lick was the first of many as her tongue battered him, a steady rhythm that was both hypnotic and maddening. He gasped as her tongue lifted his sack, one side then the other, still the same unceasing pace of pleasure.
Despite the intensity of the ecstasy he felt, it took Simon a while to reach his climax, his earlier blunted desire delaying his orgasm. Gina showed no signs of tiring, however, her tongue unceasingly caressing him in a way that made him claw at the sheets, desperate for release. Finally he felt a pleasure building in him, roaring through him like an oil-fed flame, spreading from his loins to consume his brain, and he wordlessly moaned as he felt the pressure surge inside of him. He felt, though he lacked the cognizance to recognize, Gina’s mouth clamp down on him as she ferociously sucked at his member, and it answered her command, flooding her mouth with his seed.
Simon did not think for a minute afterwards, his whole body glowing with passion like a fading ember, and he laid senselessly against the mattress as his chest fought to slow his breathing. He heard Gina swallow loudly, and looked at her to see her wipe her mouth with a paw, only to lick the fur afterwards, her eyes sparkling with mischief as she met his gaze. “T-thank you,” he gasped, and she nodded, her body shaking from side to side needily. Taking a deep breath to steady himself, Simon pushed himself up from the bed with a grin. “Now. Let me return the favor, okay?” Gina’s eyes went wide at that suggestion, and he couldn’t help but smile at the hope and hunger in those warm depths. He reached out, pulling on shoulder to guide her to the mattress, and she surrendered to his direction.
As she settled, he turned to light the candle, climbing from the bed. While he was occupied, Gina settled into the bed, and Simon turned to find her looking up at him submissively, her paws and legs spread wide. Something in that expression stoked his desire to new heights, and he eagerly climbed atop her, staring into her eyes. She met that gaze before closing her eyes, lifting her mouth to lick his chin and cheek. He enjoyed that, but soon kissed her lips, and she relaxed, baring her throat to his nipping kisses as he moved lower. Her breasts distracted him, and she moaned softly as he suckled on each breast in turn, his teeth carefully trapping her nipples for his tongue to flick against. His kisses grew in force as he stayed in place, but as she began to squirm on the mattress he continue his southward trek, exploring her tight stomach, darting his tongue into her navel, freeing a giggle from her lips.
He made his way down to her mound before pausing, her rich, musky scent thick in his lungs. He stared at his destination with a mix of desire and desperation, praying he could do what he had in mind. However, his favored reading material, The Knight of the Pink Lilly, had not been quite concrete enough in its descriptions, and Gina’s lips looked remarkably less floral than his inexperienced mind had pictured. Still, with a shrug he moved in, his tongue leading the way, and as he lapped between her lips, his mouth all but immediately wet from her moistness, she shuddered a groan that told him he was doing well enough. He took a lesson from her own attentions, giving her long licks from bottom to top as he enjoyed her flavor, and she writhed with mewling cries, especially when his tongue dipped deeper into her opening. Finally, her paws captured his head, directing him to the nub at the peak, and his slow licks picked up their pace, leaving her panting frantically.
After a while of that, he felt her paws rest on his shoulders, and he lifted his face from her, wiping excess moisture away with the back of his hand. She was looking at him with a desperate need, whining softly, and it took him just a moment to realize what she wanted next. Steeling his heart, he nodded to her, and her brilliant smile became the second memory from that evening he would treasure.
She rose onto her knees, pulling him up to kiss him deeply as her paw reached down to stroke his now-recovered stiffness. He groaned into her mouth, his own hand sliding up her inner thigh to press against her lips, and she shuddered against him as he slid a finger in and out of her hole. As she drew back, her eyes dimmed by lust and need, he paused, and she bit her lip as she shifted once more, turning away from him. A moment later and she glanced back over her shoulder at him, now lowered to her knees and elbows, her pink lips framed between her swaying thighs, her tail wagging gently. His eyes traveled from that delight to her eyes and back again before he mustered his courage, taking his place on his knees behind her, lining his member up with those glistening lips. She shivered as his lower head brushed against her sensitive clit, and a moment later he found the tight opening he was looking for, pressing into it as gently as he could manage. He paused as he heard her whine, and he watched her as she panted, but she nodded a moment later, and he resumed his progress, until finally he was completely engulfed by her warmth and wetness.
He couldn’t move for a minute afterwards, lost in the feeling of her gripping him, the connection between them too intense for him to think of anything else. She was the first to take action, rocking her hips back and forth, and he followed suit, trying to time his own swaying with hers. She made quiet sounds every time he plunged in as far as he could, but her pace only increased, and he reached down to hold her hips, trying to keep himself steady. He blushed as his member slid free of her after a powerful thrust, but she waited patiently as he guided himself back to her opening, and she rewarded him with a throaty groan as he pressed back deep inside.
The sounds of their hips slamming together filled the room, mixed in with heavy breathing and needy sighs and punctuated by the creaking of the bed. One of Simon’s hands wandered down to grip one of her cheeks, and her tail wagged against him as he rocked back and forth. Simon let his head hang back as he felt a familiar pressure building inside of him, and he increased his pace, plunging hard against her with every thrust. The short moans coming from where she had buried her face in a pillow spurred him onward, and he could feel her tightening around him as he drove against her harder, answering her silent plea. Their rhythm began to slip in favor of speed, the beat lost to the pace as they slammed into each other like rutting animals, pleasure dissolving their thoughts into mush.
It ended as Simon felt her spasm around him, and luckily her cries were muffled by the pillow she was biting, else it may have been a howl louder than the one before. Her orgasm rippled around him, and that was enough to force him over the edge. His crazed thrusting lost all semblance of tempo as he felt himself spilling into her, and she threw herself back against him, greedily claiming all he had to give. Finally he collapsed against her, mashing her into the bed, his softening member still inside her as he panted for breath, wiping sweat from his brow as he listened to the cooing moans of satisfaction she was giving him.
Simon pulled himself out of her, rolling over and scooting into his proper place in the bed as he managed to catch his breath, relaxing in a way he had never felt before. Gina, however, only scooted to the side, keeping her hips high as she brought her face close to his, kissing him and licking his face in turns, and he returned her affection as his hand caressed her back. She waited only a minute before finally climbing back under the blankets, scooting close to him again, resting her head on his bare shoulder with a smile of contentment.
As he petted her again, he could tell she fell asleep almost immediately. He didn’t begrudge her that; exhaustion was finally having its way with him as well. Instead, he devoted his last thoughts to what lay in front of him. Now, more than ever, he was determined to save her. He would send her from Videre, and then he would rejoin her, even if it meant leaving everything else he knew behind. He would trust the caravan if it was an option, but otherwise he would find another way. The forbidden library was his best hope otherwise, and he could sneak in there the same way Gina had eluded George that morning, so long ago.
That confidence gave Simon the final peace he needed, and he clutched Gina to him as he closed his eyes and let his mind still. They would be alright now. Just another day or two, and he could save them all. When his breathing slowed, he was smiling up at the heavens, ready for whatever might come.
Tomorrow would be a new day, and now he had hope enough to face it.
Continued in “Wisdom in Shadow, Chapter 9“
Author’s Note: My apologies again for the slight delay in releasing this chapter, but the past week has been incredibly hectic. So much so that my apology comes with a second regret: I fear I am going to have to go to weekly releases for this story, considering a recent change in my employment status. I have been a part-time English teacher this year, which made for poor paychecks even as three planning periods gave me plenty of time to write. Just Wednesday, however, a shift in our faculty saw me promoted to full-time, with two extra classes. With six classes now, including four distinct preps, and a two-hour after-school program every day, time has just become more precious. With that said, I do not intend to stop writing; I just may suffer a few delays, and will have to drop to one chapter a week instead of two. Again, my apologies for this.
As for the story itself, now that our lovers have finally made that big step, it’s time for the story to head for a climax of its own. Next chapter may just include an introduction, so look forward to that. I will return next Friday with Chapter 9, and hope you will rejoin me to see where the story goes from here!
Now, I need to return to the keys. Eventually, though, I will find time to sleep…